04 April 2006

Visa problem

We sent our visa application off to the Los Angeles Consulate on 2/22. I had called several times over the past few weeks to check on the status and each time I was told it was still under review and we had plenty of time so not to worry. Last Wednesday I called while we were in Chicago and was told our application was denied and being sent back to us with a letter explaining the reason for the denial. The lady I talked to would not allow me to talk to the person who reviewed the application nor provide me with any further details, so we had to wait.

We received the packet back on Monday morning and the letter from the consulate states it appears we would be studying in Italy and the housing accommodation verification we provided was incorrect. The only study we had indicated was taking an intensive language school for 3 weeks to better interact with the locals. The housing arrangements we had made were a Lettera di Invito from our friends in Rome. This is a formal form with stamps and notary. The consulate had highlighted a portion of the lettera that said it was not good for more than 90 days, something neither we nor our friends in Rome had noticed.

Monday I called the lady at the consulate who reviewed our application to find out what the process would be to correct our application. She said it sounded like we would be moving around the country since we signed up for a language school in Ascoli Piceno, I tried to explain this was an intensive school so we can learn the language. She said that they require a rental contract or house ownership, I explained I called their office and was told the Lettera di Invito was accepted and that the form is also listed on their web-site, she only recited the language from the embassy web-site for a rental contract. I tried to find out if we could correct the housing arrangement and resubmit the proper form without redoing all of the documents but she would not give me a direct yes or no and made it sound more like we could try resubmitting and take our chances - "roll the dice".

Needless to say this has been a very frustrating week since we learned the visa was denied and trying to figure out what to do next. If the housing issue is the only problem, then we believe that can be corrected and we have been in contact with an attorney in Rome who handles international relocations. We wait to see if that process will be fruitful or if we need to go to Plan B.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Italy. This is just a little taste of the brutal bureaucracy that awaits you when you arrive! I wish you the best of luck, nonetheless, and I will read more in the future but, can I ask why you've chosen Ascoli-Piceno? A good choice if I may add. A beautiful area with lots of countryside and beach. Plus, no tourists and few foreigners (you'll become assimilated quicker).

Ron Estrada said...

Maybe the delay will be a blessing in disguise. Kinda reminds me how our most precious desires and destinations are hardest to get to. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

We had the same experience last March with the LA consulate, we didn't even get a nice phone call. Just the letter 7 days before we were to leave. We moved anyway :) Luckily we made a friend who worked at the SFO consulate and went back over the summer with the same info and were accepted in 3 days. Needless to say things are still bureacratic here but NOTHING like the consulates in the states who enjoy playing with everyone's lives.

Lesson learned? Don't take no as an answer, there are MANY ways to get your end goal.

Buona fortuna!!!!


Bryan said...

We will work through this, it will just take time.
We picked Ascoli Piceno for the location and few tourists.